What is the Best Thickness for a Yoga Mat: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect One

What is the Best Thickness for a Yoga Mat: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect One

Yoga mats are specifically made to prevent your hands and feet from slipping during a yoga class. They also help prevent injuries because some poses are difficult to do on a regular flat surface. These products come in different width and knowing what is the best thickness for a yoga mat is crucial for you.

That is because some yoga mats are thick enough that they are capable of providing some cushion to your joints. Such differences in width can be traced back to the interesting history of yoga mats that you must also learn if you want to be a certified yogi.

Yoga Mat: The History

Yogis had a challenge of staying put every time they practice because at first, sticky yoga mats were non-existent, so they had to do the poses on whatever surface they are on. However, Angela Farmer was tired of slipping each time she practices that is why she tried using blankets and foam mattresses, but none of them worked.

One day, while she was in Germany, she saw the carpet padding which she bought back to London and every time she travels there, she buys one. Angela’s father saw an opportunity to sell the mats locally, so they contacted the manufacturer, and soon after, his father became the first retailer of this carpet padding which he called “The Original Molivos Mat.”

Americans heard about this miraculous mat but exporting it was super expensive. Hence, Sara Chambers, the founder of Hugger Mugger, decided to contact a chemist so that she can manufacture her own and she called it the “Tapas Mat.” Her mats were durable, less expensive, and they come in fun colors. The Germans considered Sara a competition which led them to develop a thicker rubber mat called the “Black Mat” which became popular among yogis who are into flow yoga.

Today, yoga mats are not only used to keep you in place because there are newly developed ones that also help with alignment.

What is the Best Thickness for a Yoga Mat: Essential Facts

Generally, when it comes to the thickness of the yoga mat that is ideal, that will depend on your specific needs. It may also be based on what type of yoga you are about to practice or is currently practicing.


  • 1/16-inch Yoga Mat

The 1/16-inch is the thinnest yoga mat available. This is ideal if you are constantly traveling because it is also lightweight. Likewise, it folds making it easy to fit in your luggage. This is also a great option if you like the feeling of being connected to the ground or if your practice involves a lot of standing poses.

  • 1/8-inch Yoga Mat

The 1/8-inch is the standard yoga mat because it can be used for a wide range of practices. It is thick enough to give you cushion but also portable because it is lightweight. Hence, if you practice different yoga styles throughout the week, the 1/8-inch yoga mat is what you need.

  • 1/4-inch Yoga Mat

This yoga mat is the thickest one around, and it is excellent for providing comfort and support. A thick mat is the best option if you practice a lot of Yin, gentle, and restorative yoga styles. That is because those practices involve a lot of lying down poses requiring some cushion for your back to help you find stillness and relaxation. A drawback, however, is it is heavy making it unsuitable to bring for travel. Likewise, because of its thickness, it might not fit in a standard yoga bag.

Factors to Consider

Apart from your lifestyle and yoga style, there are other things to keep in mind for you to know what thickness of a yoga mat will be best for you.

  • The Frequency of Usage

If you are a yogi who practices almost every day, you need to choose a more durable yoga mat. You might want to invest in a pricier one because when it comes to yoga mats, price equates to quality.

  • Your Physical Condition

Yogis who have existing injuries need to opt for yoga mats that have enough cushioning to protect the joints. In addition, if your practice involves a lot of kneeling down, it is best to choose a yoga mat that will provide comfort during such poses.

Additional Tips

When buying a yoga mat, the thickness is not the only feature that you need to consider. You must also consider other factors to ensure your safety and comfort.

  • Stickiness and Texture

These two factors are essential to consider because these are the characteristics of a yoga mat that will help prevent you from slipping during a pose. It is critical to have the right texture and stickiness to prevent injuries during your practice.

  • Size

Standard yoga mats are usually 24 by 68 inches, but there are longer ones which are 72 and 74 inches. Taller yogis have an option to purchase an 84-inch yoga mat for more comfort.
Style and Color: Yoga mats have evolved a lot because there are lots of colors available now. There are also yoga mats that have prints and patterns for yogis who want to practice in style. We recommend, though, to choose prints and patterns that will help with your alignment and concentration.

  • Material

Yoga mats are made of different materials, and they are PVC, rubber, foam, jute, and cotton. Jute and cotton yoga mats are usually placed on top of a regular one because they are good at absorbing sweat. On the other hand, PVC offers durability, but yogis who are environmentally conscious might want to skip this. The more sustainable options are yoga mats made of rubber and foam; however, they contain latex which might cause allergies to some people.

Final Words

With regards to what is the best thickness for a yoga mat, such will depend on a lot of things. However, a no-brainer choice is the 1/8-inch yoga mat because it is the most versatile of the three. The other two thickness are your options if you are going to consider other factors. Furthermore, choosing a nice looking yoga mat wouldn’t hurt especially if you need a motivation to go to your class regularly.

With all those said, the thickness of your yoga might not matter because what is important is your comfort. After all, your practice should not make you hurt even if you have to do some difficult poses. Yoga is all about relaxing and finding stillness no matter what position you will be in. More importantly, always move at your own pace and do the poses according to your level and never ever force yourself.

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